'Top Model' Interview with Dominique: 'It's a TV Show, Not a Modeling Competition'
'Top Model' Interview with Dominique: 'It's a TV Show, Not a Modeling Competition'
Meghan Carlson
Meghan Carlson
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
This isn't the first time that Tyra and her judging panel have sent home an America's Next Top Model contestant because they felt she had "walked away" from the competition during the competition. Besides critiques about "sitting on" one's natural talents or looking "too commercial," it might be the most common reason Tyra uses to send a model packing. After all, the second rule of Top Model (after the height requirement) is that you have to want it.

Most eliminated Top Model contestants will tell you that they did want it, but, for whatever reason, that passion "didn't shine through" or the judges "didn't get a chance" to know them. And most of them are probably telling the truth as they see it. But Dominique, the outgoing freckled beauty from Houston who was sent home this week after a couture group photo shoot gone wrong, is one of the few I've spoken to who openly admits that she quit before Tyra handed her the eviction notice. Her reason for giving up? She says it began to dawn on her that, for all their talk of turning modeling dreams into reality, the only "reality" on Top Model is that it's a reality TV show.

Check out what Dominique had to say about her exit, what she thinks of this season's diva, Alexandria, and more:

America's Next Top Model is available on Amazon Prime.


Congratulations on making it on to Top Model and making it as far as you did. How does it feel now?

Ha. It feels normal. I'm back to my normal life, of course.

Are you still modeling? Is that still a dream of yours?

Of course it's still a dream of mine. I can't right now, we have a contract on us so we can't pursue the industry in any way until the show is over. So, you've got to live your life normal until then.

I was sad to see you go last night because you have such a unique look and you were one of the more outgoing personalities on the show this season. Were you surprised to end up in the bottom two?

No, I was not surprised.

You felt that your photo shoot went poorly before you went into panel?

No, I don't think the photo shoot went poorly, it's just a matter of my realistic thinking and understanding that it's a reality TV show. I mean, my opinion is that it's a reality TV show before an actual modeling competition. So, yeah.

What makes you say that?

Just the stuff that happens behind the scenes. You have to understand that I was in this competition with no experience, amongst these other girls who had experience, so that was kind of like a downfall. On top of that, you have people like Alexandria that are there ... so, I don't know. Look at it this way: Every photo shoot that we do, we take like a million and one photos, of course not literally, but we basically take a million photos. We can't see none of them. We can't see any photos. Not one. The only photo that you see is when you go to panel and Tyra says, "This is your photo." You look at that photo and you know you took a million and one photos, so don't tell me that that photo is always the best one out of the bunch. I feel like they can manipulate the situation where if they want you to go home that week, they can make you go home. All they have to do is put up a bad photo. It's not like anyone else knows what other photos you had. 

Do you feel like you had any experiences there that did translate to the real modeling world? Did you learn anything that you felt might help you in the future?


I don't think there's anything that necessarily has to do with modeling, because there wasn't a time that I felt we really got some one-on-one attention about, "Oh, you should do this or work on that." When we got our criticism from Mr. Jay, it was kind of like just thrown up in the air, and you want to know how you could fix it, but there's never really an explanation for how to fix it. So as for the modeling world, no. But as for just reality and living life, what I could take from that whole experience is just that you can't quit on yourself. If you quit on yourself, everybody else will quit on you as well. A prime example, Tyra said, "Oh, you look overwhelmed. You must be overwhelmed from the competition." Yeah, I quit. Behind closed doors or personally, I quit the competition before I was eliminated, because of my realistic thinking or opinion that this is really, honestly, just a reality TV show and it's really not a modeling competition. It's not really about making people who aren't models into models.

Did you feel like that the entire time, or is that something you realized as you went along?

No, I realized it after a while. It grew on me. When you get there, you're just excited to be there. You're like, "OK, it's a competition, we gotta do this," you know. But then you start seeing stuff that is just very questionable behind closed doors. You're like, "OK, well, OK, well..." and the next thing you know, you're like, "This is totally different from what I thought it was supposed to be about."

So are you glad you left as early as you did?

Oh yeah. You all didn't see that. When I was up there with Tyra, it looked like I was starting to tear up, because of course you don't want to go home. But when the curtain was closed and all the other girls left the scene and I did my on the fly interview, I was happy. I was happy to leave. I was jumping for joy, like "Oh my gosh, I'm done with this. Now I can actually talk on the phone, use the internet, watch TV."

You mentioned Alexandria earlier. What's your read on her? Because we're definitely just seeing one side of her on the show.

Of course, and honestly, that's the whole side of her. That's both sides of her. Alexandria, I couldn't care less about her. But I did call her after the whole show was taped, and I talked to her myself, because there wasn't an opportunity that I had personally to talk to her about how I felt about her. So I called her and didn't exactly apologize, but talked to her about why I felt the way I felt towards her, and tried to get her to understand why everyone was so against her. But Miss Alexandria is from the Los Angeles area so I call her Miss Hollywood, and to me that's all she is, she's nothing but somebody who's just like, so totally fake, or whatever. Perhaps that is her natural personality, but it's just too much. She just needs to tone it down, point blank.

Who are you rooting for? ... Or do you care?

Yes, I care, but then I don't. If I had to give you a few names of who I wouldn't mind being America's Next Top Model, perhaps Molly or Brit or Hannah. Or Kasia. But, you know what, everyone. Honestly, at this point, with how I feel about the young ladies in terms of their potential, their spirit, their modeling, the only person I could say I don't want to win is Alexandria.

What are your future plans?

Well, I plan on moving as soon as I can and I'm going to be full-fledged trying to pursue the modeling industry. As soon as I get that green light that I can actually pursue, I'm going to be knocking on the door of every agency I can, in hopes that I can get someone who can work with me and help me be the potential model that a lot of people think I can be, and that I think I can be.



(Image courtesy of the CW)

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